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Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt says social media amplifies idiots, forgets he bought YouTube

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that social networks serve as amplifiers for idiots and crazy people.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | October 22, 2020 | Updated 10:42 IST
Former Google CEO who managed YouTube for years says social networks are amplifiers for idiots. (Picture: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Former Google CEO who managed YouTube for years says social networks are amplifiers for idiots and crazy people.
  • “Google’s market share is not 100 per cent,” Schmidt said when asked about the current antitrust case against the tech giant.
  • Schmidt was president during the 2006 buyout of YouTube and paid $1 billion extra. He is one of the biggest shareholders in Google.

Eric Schmidt, former Google Chief executive officer (CEO) and chairman believes that social networks are amplifiers for idiots and crazy people. To elaborate on the quote as reported by Bloomberg, Schmidt said, "The context of social networks serving as amplifiers for idiots and crazy people is not what we intended."

As per The Verge, who used to maintain a catalog of Schmidt's foot in the mouth comments, this could be seen as a classic addition. Even though Schmidt did not clarify who "we" referred to in his comments, it is no secret that he is part of the Tech elite.

Schmidt personally managed one of many largest social networks for a few years: YouTube. He presided over the $1.65 billion buyout of YouTube in 2006 paying $1 billion extra. YouTube recently announced that it makes $15 billion dollars a year. One might see Schmidt's foresight in YouTube's buyout but him calling social network users crazy people and the platforms amplifying it seems as if he is sorry for the investment.

Schmidt was asked to comment on the current antitrust case against Google by the US Department of Justice and this is what he told the publication: "I would be careful about these dominance arguments. I just don't agree with them," Schmidt said. "Google's market share is not 100 per cent."

He said the antitrust lawsuit the US government filed against Google was misplaced, but that more regulation may be in order for social networks in general. Schmidt said social media's "excesses" would likely results in greater regulation in the coming years. Schmidt further said that unless the industry gets its act together in a really clever way, there will be regulation.

Google in response to the investigation by the Department of Justice had said, "Today's lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to — not because they're forced to or because they can't find alternatives."

Schmidt was made the CEO of Google in 2001. In 2011, he left the CEO position and became Google's executive chairman.Schmidt left the board of Google's parent Alphabet in 2019 is still one of its largest shareholders of the company. As per reports, the changes came after scandals involving Google's handling of sexual misconduct cases and other situations that have led employees and shareholders to question the board's oversight.

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